With the recent announcements from Woollies and Coles around plastic packaging and the reduction of food waste, here are 5 ways you can help reduce the amount of single use plastic items that are negatively impacting our environment and our wildlife.
Woolworths has committed to phasing out plastic straws and plastic packaging in fruits and vegetables by the end of 2018. Woollies will also be offering a new reusable shopping bag with a lifetime replacement offer for customers to purchase in an effort to phase out plastic bags.
Meanwhile, Coles will remove the excessive plastic wrapping from fruit and vegetables – starting with its ‘Kid-size Bananas’ packs.
Both are also pledging food waste initiatives.
Although it may seem like a drop in the (plastic-polluted) ocean, there are ways that everyone can make a difference:
- Keep a number of reusable shopping bags dotted around the place you’re likely to reach for when you shop ie in the car and in the pantry, so you have less excuse for forgetting them. Though my husband’s latest lament is that he left them in the car. Humph!
- Unless really necessary for carrying multiples of small fruit ie grapes, cherries etc try to avoid putting your fruit and veg into the supplied freezer bags. Alternatively, use the mushroom bags for packaging. Or, if you’re ever that organised, try to reuse freezer bags.
- Concerned that fruit and veg will go off if not kept in a freezer/plastic bags in the fridge? Invest in lidded containers of varying sizes for keeping leaves, fruit and veg. Keep an eye out for when they’re on sale in supermarkets. Bonus of this is you also get a neater fridge!
- To try and reduce food waste and to cut down on your shopping bill, do a quick inventory of what you already have in your pantry pulling any older items to the fore so that they’re used first. May seem obvious but who hasn’t discovered expired sauces or ingredients hiding in the dark depths of their shelves?
- If your fruit or veg is looking on the turn – ie overripe and black-spotted bananas the kids have shunned, neglected veggies in the crisper drawer, whip them out, do a bit of quick prep, peel, chop and place them in airtight containers in the freezer ready to add to soups, smoothies, or other meals. Now, all you need to do is remember they’re there!